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Keeping up with Google’s frequent algorithm updates is a huge part of succeeding in search engine optimisation. It’s important to not only understand each update – particularly the major ones – but to have the ability to adjust your practices, and thus maintain a solid Google presence.

The beginning of August saw Google rolling out a new major update to its search algorithms. While Google updates its algorithms daily, these changes are generally quite small that they make a huge difference in rankings. But this update is different. It’s called a broad core update – a major update that only happens a few times a year.

Major updates generally mean you may see a sharp increase or decrease in the rankings for your web pages. This is good news for some, but obviously, not for everyone.

Google algorithm updates can be specific and is used to fix a certain problem; it can also be broad, which involves making significant changes. The broad core updates can take time to understand and therefore it can be tough knowing why your rankings may have dropped back.

We’ve previously spoken about some of the major specific updates like Maccabees, Penguin, Panda, Pigeon, and Fred, all of which aimed to fix individual problems, like penalising link spamming, unnatural and excessive use of keywords, poor user experience and so forth. With these kinds of updates, it’s not as difficult to get your solid ranking back as you know exactly what you need to fix your website.

Broad updates tend to impact Google’s ranking factors. With hundreds of ranking factors, it’s therefore quite difficult to pinpoint the reason a website’s ranking may increase or decrease.

So, how do we move forward? We need to understand Google’s updated search guidelines. Obviously, this is something we’re always keeping an eye on.

A website with great content that matches the users’ intent whilst providing a great user experience will always do well. Quality website content is no longer about using an abundance of keywords, but more about meaningful and relevant information that visitors will positively respond to.

Broadening your key phrase portfolio through long-tail key phrases (i.e. four or more words) is a great place to start. While these key phrases may not get as much traffic as one or two-word phrases, they have a much higher conversion rate and are much better when it comes to producing natural, meaningful and informative content.

So with this in mind, it’s important not to worry if you have seen a change in your Google ranking. As there is currently no specific fix for this update. We must continue to enrich your website with great content and an excellent user experience – the key ranking factors in Google’s eyes.

If you have any questions about search engine optimisation or would like to know more about the latest algorithm updates, please call us on 1300 090 401.

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